How To Play Lower Grade Players

armsty

Hall of Fame
OK first up, I am a 4-4.5 player who usually plays the top grade of the local junior comp as number 1 in my team. I am taking a break at the moment and having a break from competitive tennis, playing Soccer during the Australian winter but in my week off I offered to reserve in the team for my club in the grade below what I would normally play (2nd grade).

Now I need help as I am not used to playing competitively against guys that are this low of a standard and that means I may not be able to cope with the lack/B] of pace from this guy.

To add to this I am playing with an ex-team mate who I don't particularly like, and a guy that I have never got along with, against a great friend of mine and another good friend from my school that I am in the same roll class as.

Help? Advice? Cheers.
 

Dark_Angel85

Semi-Pro
Not used to playing with people of a lower standard?

This is new.

Just hit it man... you shouldn't have any problems playing with someone supposedly weaker than you isn't it?

It's all in your head
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
What is your intent? Do you want to blow them off the court? Challenge your opponents w/o overwhelming them? A good 4.0-4.5 player should be able to hit with a variety of speeds and spins. If you only feel comfortable when given pace, then perhaps you need to develop that aspect of your game so that you are more of a multi-dimensional player rather than one-dimensional.
 

armsty

Hall of Fame
What is your intent? Do you want to blow them off the court? Challenge your opponents w/o overwhelming them? A good 4.0-4.5 player should be able to hit with a variety of speeds and spins. If you only feel comfortable when given pace, then perhaps you need to develop that aspect of your game so that you are more of a multi-dimensional player rather than one-dimensional.
I want to play my own game and dominate the speed of the game obv. I just need mental help :p
 

WBF

Hall of Fame
It just takes practice. I grew up hitting with a 5.5 nearly every day, so I was completely used to all sorts of power, but had huge issues against weak players. The problem is, they aren't 'lower' players if they can beat you! Find one of these lower players and hit with them often. Work on generating your own pace, but keep it in control and use a good amount of topspin. Be sure to keep your feet moving and don't plant down just because you think it's coming to some spot. I spent a while teaching my fiancee tennis (she had weaker strokes) and it has done wonders for my game... I used to have trouble putting away short balls, hitting loopy balls aggressively, and mixing up the pace of my own shots, but hitting with her improved all these areas.

Good luck!
 

ttbrowne

Hall of Fame
If you don't like someone you're playing, and they aren't up to your level, there's no better feeling than just hitting the ball back and letting them make the error.
This drives an opponent crazy!
 

150mph_

Semi-Pro
i was hitting with a middle school kid 2 nights ago and i had the most fun playing tennis in a long long time...
if you are considerably better than them then you have so much leverage over them... you can try shots you have never tried before, show the touch, etc. etc.
way more raw fun than playing people your level or better...
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
This thread smells like a variation of "how to play with pushers" thread :)
 

LuckyR

Legend
I want to play my own game and dominate the speed of the game obv. I just need mental help :p
You are absolutely correct. If you are indeed a 4.5 you should have no trouble, stroke-wise with blowing these guys off of the court. However, since they are your friends and enemies, there is an emotional component to the match which is getting the best of you. Some would call it Fear of Losing or performance anxiety. Many/most 4.5's are very match tough and this is not an issue, curious how it is such a problem in your case.

Folks use many Mental tricks to get over this problem, some don't keep score in their mind and just try to win each point, others imagine playing a generic opponent instead of the real person and still others will totally focus on the ball and not even look at their opponent.

Good luck.
 

CoachNC

New User
With my friend, i play his/her level + o.5

With my family, i play their level. And, occassionally (1/20) my level shot.
Try it, it is very fun.
 

Fumoffu

Rookie
focus on consistancy and trying to accomplish something, like i'm going to hit every ball on my fh side to his backhand.
 

raiden031

Legend
I am playing at around the 3.5 level nowadays and have been finding it easier to beat players who hit less pace than those who hit more pace. I wonder if the OP is really a 4.0-4.5 player if they don't know how to handle someone who hits without pace because I feel like I've gotten so much better at handling it and should get wiped out by a player of that level.
 
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